‘Fake News’ or ‘False News’ and the need of skills to deal with it

Adults have problems deciphering truth from falsehoods as information is twisted and changed to compete with different ideologies and competing voices. How much more do our students need to be skilled in discerning truth from fabricated or twisted information. This is where information literacy skills need to be embedded into all aspects of the curriculum and practice given under guidance. It is the role of the Teacher Librarian to assist in this.

Some good ideas for initial activities to make students aware of how easy it is to believe false news are given in this article in the NY Times: Evaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Ideas for Teaching and Learning About Fake News by 

This New Yorker Cartoon by  says it all!

Flipped Classroom explained

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning have posted a graphic and two videos to explain what in entailed in ‘flipping’ your classroom. It is one of the best explanations I have seen. As personal technology use expands in our school with the implementation of BYOD, Flipped Classroom is now a possibility.

“Flipped classroom or flipped learning is a methodology, an approach to learning in which technology is employed to reverse the traditional role of classroom time. If in the past, classroom time is spent at lecturing to students , now in a flipped model, this time is utilized to encourage individualized learning and provide one-on-one help to students.”
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Google search – finding the best hits

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This linked infographic from Who Is Hosting This displays best search practice in order to get exactly you are looking for. A lot of students seem to fully rely on Google Search – learning how to search effectively would be very beneficial.

Evaluating the quality of online information

In her post on the Edutopia Blog, Julie Coiro, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Rhode Island, suggests ways to develop skills in adolescents dealing with online information.

“An essential part of online research is the ability to critically evaluate information. This includes the ability to read and evaluate its level of accuracy, reliability and bias.”

Four strategies are outlined to assist in developing these skills of discernment.
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Learning technology skills

21 Things 4 Students “was created as an educational and online resource to help students improve their technology proficiency as they prepare for success in the 21st century. This project was specifically developed to provide districts and classroom teachers with resources to help students meet or exceed the 8th grade technology proficiency requirements in Michigan.”

Students all over the world need these skills and this site allows progressive attainment through video explanations and ‘quests’ in 21 areas.

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How technology brings change to learning

In his post on Mindshift entitled How Technology Trends Have Influenced the Classroom, Carl Hooker outlines the many changes taking place in both society as well as technology that mean that learning and teaching methods have to change – and are changing.

As educators, it’s our job to make sure that students (and adults) are learning. Part of that process isn’t only about making an engaging activity or lesson, but also realizing how the modern brain learns.

For each of the headings below he outlines the classroom outcomes for these changes.

The Increase of Interactivity
On-Demand Living
Self-Publishing the World As We See It
Everything is Mobile (and Instant)
Embracing the Digital Brain

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An Information Literate School Community

Did you know the Teacher Librarian can wear up to 500 hats? Barbara Braxton is working her way through a description of each and today’s ‘Hat’ is both informative and challenging. Read about The Information Literacy Hat on her blog 500 Hats.

Info LiteracyAn ILSC is one that “places a high priority (policy, benchmarking, funding and evaluation) on the pursuit of teacher and student mastery of the processes of being informed,” (Henri, 2005, p12). ..

…Students will need to be able to survive and thrive in an information-saturated and technology-rich environment, and be independent, creative thinkers, making informed decisions based on careful evaluation and interpretation of available information, developing expertise through experience, and be lifelong learners. They need to be information literate.

Integration of Technology into learning

Terry Heick (Director at TeachThought)discusses what he sees as four stages of integrating technology in learning.

As our school moves across into BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) it will be interesting to see how long it takes before we see an erosion of traditional classroom and curriculum taking place. Deliberating about and managing change is a daily facet of teaching.

This is how Terry Deick describes the last two stages of change in the learning process:

Stage 3: Mobile technology erodes traditional classroom. Truly mobile learners should disrupt non-flexible curriculum.

Mobile learning experiences are inherently unpredictable, requiring varied communication, critical thinking, and aggressive resourcefulness. Standards-based academic work struggles for gravity working against this stage of technology integration.

Stage 4: This final stage of technology implementation necessitates learners to consistently self-direct critical, core components of learning experiences.

Self-direction based on curiosity and play while supported by personalized learning algorithms and the connectivity of authentic networks characterizes this final stage of technology integration. Traditional classroom learning is fully disrupted.

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Technology in the classroom – not optional

This infographic by ‘graphite’ shows how the use of educational technology is favoured yet also how many teachers and institutions have difficulty in making its use a reality in the classroom. Educators have perceived barriers that are discussed here – budget restraints, time for teachers to learn to use and to implement technology into their practice.

EdTech

Understanding ‘txtng’ as a linguistic skill

Do you know when to use ‘LOL’ and ‘slash’ in your texts?

In his TED Talk Txtng is killing language. JK!!! , John McWhorter says that texting is actually an expansion of people’s “linguistic repertoire” and is “language in speech” and not writing as we have come to know it. He notes an emergent complexity in the subtle structures and conventions of its use.

Does texting mean the death of good writing skills? John McWhorter posits that there’s much more to texting — linguistically, culturally — than it seems, and it’s all good news.

Linguist John McWhorter thinks about language in relation to race, politics and our shared cultural history.

Google Drive Explained

This video by Martin Shervington very simply, yet comprehensively, explains everything we need to know about Google Drive.

What is Google Drive? A complete guide how to use it. The ease of collaboration makes this something we will look at for using for our Inquiry Circles.
Cloud (storage), Creation, Collaboration, Communication
How to access Google Drive, including from Google+

Digital Fluency – Where to begin…

The sheer number of tools available can be overwhelming. Learning a new tool can be a steep learning curve but usually only for a short time before its use becomes indispensable. Every tool has a different purpose and every user has immediate and personal needs. Matching these is what can be difficult.

TeachThought has listed 9 Digital Learning Tools every 21st Century teacher should be able to use. Useful tools come… and are then superseded by something better whilst others stand the test of time. This list is a good place to start – to find readily accessible and practical ways to implement technology and become fluent in its application.

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